To ensure the reform of administrative and territorial system, local self-governance and regional policy, a number of strategic documents were developed with DESPRO’s support. Under changing political environment between 2008 and 2019, the project managed to leave a footprint in Ukrainian legislation.

In 2008-2009, DESPRO contributed to development of a number of documents which were approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine:


the Order № 900-p “On Approval of the Concept of Local Government Reform”, adopted by The Cabinet
of Ministers of Ukraine on 29.07.2009. The concept defined the content of local governance reform, its
stages and required resources


the Order № 1456-р “On Approval of the Measures for Implementation of the Concept of Local
Self-Government Reform
” was adopted on 02.12.2009. This document defined the frames and directions
for the necessary normative acts for the reform and those responsible for their preparation. Within the
framework of this plan, the draft laws: “On Administrative and Territorial Structure”, “On Local Self-
”, “On Local State Administrations”, as well as the required draft amendments to the
Constitution of Ukraine relating to the local self-governance reform, were developed 

the Order № 385-р "On approval of the Concept for forming the system of local self-government officials
and deputies of local councils training" adopted the Cabinet of Ministers on 08.04.2009


the Order № 1134-p "On approval of the plan for the period up to 2011 on implementation of the Concept
for forming the system of local self-government officials and deputies of local councils training
adopted on 23.09.2009 


the draft Concept of Administrative-Territorial System Reform, which is fully consistent with the approved
Concept of Local Self-Government Reform and Methodology of Modeling Communities in accordance with the
draft concept. All oblasts in Ukraine developed the appropriate mock-ups, compiled a list of new communities and
mapped oblasts with new communities 


the draft Law of Ukraine “On the Principles of State Regional Policy” was submitted for consideration by the
Cabinet of Ministers on December 01, 2009. The bill contained new approaches to the state regional policy, goals,
principles, institutional and financial support, in particular the creation of the State Fund for Regional Development.
This draft law wasn’t unfortunately approved at that time, but was later reintroduced and adopted in 2015

In 2010-2012, the Government of Ukraine did not fulfill the previously approved plans for the implementation of the Concept of Local Government Reform and the Concept for forming the system of local self-government officials and deputies of local councils training. With lack of political will in reforms in the country, DESPRO continued its work on models of rural water supply services, adapting them and scaling them up to the wider geography, as well knowledge management and capacity building for stakeholders engaged in the reform.

In 2011, DESPRO initiated a testing of inter-municipal cooperation mechanisms by implementing two pilot SWM projects in Tulchyn rayon of Vinnytsia oblast and Bakhchisarai rayon of Autonomous Republic of Crimea. It was more than timely when at the end of 2011 the activities of the key Ministries on reforms intensified. The DESPRO test of the integrated model of SWM in the 2 pilot regions laid basis for the draft Concept on Intermunicipal Cooperation, developed in 2011.

In November 2011 the topics of decentralization and the reform of state regional policy became more articulated in the political field. In particular, the need to achieve compliance with the principles of EU regional policy was emphasized, and important components of the institutional reform were named: regional development agencies and the State Fund for Regional Development. Hence, DESPRO started engaging both national and Swiss expertise in developing and improving the necessary legislation, as well as supporting public discussions on the following draft laws and concepts:


draft law “On Amalgamation of Territorial Communities” incorporated advice and recommendations provided
by the Swiss expert. Though the draft law got positive feedback from the relevant parliamentary committees,
it was declined by the members of Parliament. The draft later underwent more revisions and was registered
anew in the Parliament as the draft Law “On the Rights of Territorial Communities to Amalgamate


draft Concept “On Local Self-Government Reform” was developed by the national experts and was sent to
the Presidential Administration for review to be put for approval in August 2012 


draft Law “On Local Referenda” incorporated recommendations provided by the Swiss expert. Later on,
the draft law was approved in the first reading. In May 2012 Swiss expertise regarding development of local
referenda was presented in Ukraine. The Swiss experience on local referenda institutions was acknowledged.
Hence, additional considerations and recommendations were taken into account while preparing the draft law
for the second reading


the State Strategy for Regional Development and possibilities for financing of regional initiatives out of the
State Fund for Regional Development, were initiated. DESPRO was actively supporting the implementation of
the 2012 National Action Plan as part of 2010-2014 Economic Reforms Programme, forseeing development of
proper competitive financial instruments for regional development. Recommendations to the draft Procedures for
selection of investment projects which might be financed out of the State Regional Development Fund were
provided by DESPRO through the Swiss experts.

Despite the certain achievements in legislation support, the overall political climate in years preceding the Euromaidan revolution, was unfavorable. Only the illusion of democratic reforms was created to seek support from local governments during the elections periods of that time. Nevertheless, the whole package of documents necessary for the further success of decentralization was developed and ready.

The year of 2014 brought the most significant events in modern Ukrainian history. Euromaidan protest (lately named Revolution of Dignity) from November 2013 to February 2014 dismissed the then President. The new government was formed and started working in late February of 2014. Presidential elections were held in Ukraine in May 2014. Ukraine signed the political and the economic part of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and The European Union, and also renewed cooperation with the IMF as well as other international organizations. This period marked a new and decisive step toward the changes needed on the way to the European integration.

DESPRO got a good opportunity to continue its full-fledged support of decentralization in the country and building open and transparent society. As a result, with support of DESPRO national experts, in April 2014, a road map of local self-government reforms was adopted by the government. The document is called “Concept of Reforming Local Self-governance and Territorial Organisation of Power”, approved on April 1st, 2014. This document provides preconditions, objectives, steps, time frame and foresees results of the decentralisation reform in the country. It became a milestone for the reform of political and fiscal decentralisation which became the first systemic change needed for Ukraine to become a stable democracy.

DESPRO took an active part in developing of the necessary legislation for decentralisation reform as well as in promoting wide public discussions and awareness increase on it. As a result, the legislative base on administrative and territorial set-up started to be formed with the adoption of a package of laws, namely, the Laws of Ukraine “On Voluntary Amalgamation of Territorial Communities” (adopted on February 5th, 2015) and “On the State Regional Policy Fundamentals” (adopted on February 5th, 2015).

In 2017-2019 continuing tight cooperation with national stakeholders in relevant fields DESPRO contributed to drafting more policy and regulatory documents, such as:


policy on municipal waste (as a chapter of the Framework Law “On Solid Waste Management”) upon direct 
request of the Ministry of Communities and Territories Development, as well as “Regulations on Development
and Approval of Regional Waste Management Plans” (approved by the Order of Minpryrody #195 on May, 28, 2019)
and “Methodological Recommendations on the Development of Regional Waste Management Plans
(approved by the Order of Minpryrody # 142 on April, 12, 2019)  



    draft Law “On Funds of Local Bonds
upon request of the
Parliamentary Committee On Banking and Financial Policy

draft Law 
On State Oversight (control) of Decisions Made by Local Governments

draft Law
On the Statutes of Territorial Communities” 


draft Law
On LSG Service” 

amendments to the already adopted Law “On LSG
(in terms of statutes of local governments)

draft Law
On Prefects

Now, with the experience built up for more than 12 years and in an established cooperation with key reform stakeholders in Ukraine, DESPRO continues to support national policy development, especially in light of adoption of Amendments to the Constitution which will make the new local self-government and territorial organisation of power in Ukraine irreversible.

DESPRO proactively provides communication support for national policy on decentralisation in Ukraine. Public debates, round tables, discussions, as well as wide-ranged collaboration with media, allows Ukrainian society to understand and accept the undergoing changes.